Metabolomic and genetic associations with insulin resistance in pregnancy.

Our study aimed to integrate maternal metabolic and genetic data related to insulin sensitivity during pregnancy to provide novel insights into mechanisms underlying pregnancy-induced insulin resistance.Fasting and 1 h serum samples were collected from women in the Hyperglycemia and Adverse Pregnancy Outcome study who underwent an OGTT at ∼28 weeks' gestation. We obtained targeted and non-targeted metabolomics and genome-wide association data from 1600 and 4528 mothers, respectively, in four ancestry groups (Northern European, Afro-Caribbean, Mexican American and Thai); 1412 of the women had both metabolomics and genome-wide association data. Insulin sensitivity was calculated using a modified insulin sensitivity index that included fasting and 1 h glucose and C-peptide levels after a 75 g glucose load.Per-metabolite and network analyses across the four ancestries identified numerous metabolites associated with maternal insulin sensitivity before and 1 h after a glucose load, ranging from amino acids and carbohydrates to fatty acids and lipids. Genome-wide association analyses identified 12 genetic variants in the glucokinase regulatory protein gene locus that were significantly associated with maternal insulin sensitivity, including a common functional missense mutation, rs1260326 (β = -0.2004, p = 4.67 × 10-12 in a meta-analysis across the four ancestries). This SNP was also significantly associated with multiple fasting and 1 h metabolites during pregnancy, including fasting and 1 h triacylglycerols and 2-hydroxybutyrate and 1 h lactate, 2-ketoleucine/ketoisoleucine and palmitoleic acid. Mediation analysis suggested that 1 h palmitoleic acid contributes, in part, to the association of rs1260326 with maternal insulin sensitivity, explaining 13.7% (95% CI 4.0%, 23.3%) of the total effect.The present study demonstrates commonalities between metabolites and genetic variants associated with insulin sensitivity in the gravid and non-gravid states and provides insights into mechanisms underlying pregnancy-induced insulin resistance. Graphical abstract.

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